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Mellow yellow


From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

Enjoy the sunshine, even on a rainy day, in a lounge that celebrates the radiance and joy of tonal yellow decorating.

While bright, electric yellows can inspire energy and passion, soft buttery shades and light zesty hues are closely related to feelings to happiness, optimism and confidence.

A mellow yellow lounge

A mellow yellow moodboard

A mellow yellow moodboard

A mellow yellow lounge

Mood board: Background in Resene Black White, A4 drawdown paint swatches (clockwise from top left) Resene Chenin, Resene Stinger, Resene Gin Fizz, Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Mellow Yellow, Resene Golden Sand, Resene Laser and vase in Resene Mellow Yellow. Artwork from Etsy, throw from Citta.

Normally, yellow has a tendency to be over-looked as a colour for interiors thanks to its historically punchy and bright attitude. But, when softer variations of this sunny hue are used in a tonal scheme, like in this lounge, it transforms the colour into a lively, liveable neutral.

As with anything, variation and contrast are key. In this room, the brighter shades of yellow, such as Resene Chenin on the wall, the coffee tabletop and cushions are balanced out with the softer shades in the room, such as Resene Mellow Yellow on the floor and Resene Half Spanish White on the cabinet.

A yellow lounge with pink accessories

A yellow and pink moodboard

A yellow and pink moodboard

A lounge in Resene Mellow Yellow with Resene Lipstick accents

Mood board: Background in Resene Black White, A4 drawdown paint swatches (clockwise from top) Resene Lipstick, Resene Stinger, Resene Gin Fizz, Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Mellow Yellow, Resene Golden Sand, Resene Laser, Resene Chenin, vase in Resene Mellow Yellow and round ball in Resene Lipstick. Art from Etsy, throw from Citta.

Darker variations are seen in the mustard chair, cushion, throw and vases, painted in Resene Stinger. These provide anchors among the lighter, punchier colours in the room.

Accessories are a good way to incorporate the in-between colours within your tonal colour scheme – remember, they all need to have the same undertone to work together. In this lounge, vases in Resene Stringer, Resene Mellow Yellow and Resene Laser complement and repeat the colours brought in through the cushions. Soft grey on the couch provides a breath of fresh air within the sunny yellow room and rich texture on the velvet chair with its sleek metallic legs adds a modern touch.

A mellow yellow lounge using a tonal yellow scheme

A mellow yellow lounge with pink accessories

Paint: Walls in Resene Chenin, floor in Resene Mellow Yellow, door in Resene Stringer, pendant lamp in Resene Stinger, coat rack in Resene Golden Sand, Resene Gin Fizz, Resene Laser and Resene Stinger, coffee tables in Resene Stinger, Resene Mellow Yellow, Resene Chenin, Resene Gin Fizz, Resene Laser, Resene Golden Sand and Resene Double Spanish White, low dish in Resene Gin Fizz, artwork frame in Resene Blank Canvas, two door cabinet in Resene Double Spanish White, tall cream wavy vase in Resene Solitaire, pink vases and planter painted in Resene Lipstick, large bowl (on table) in Resene Stinger, two vases (on coffee table) painted in Resene Laser and Resene Double Spanish White, medium vase with handle in Resene Double Spanish White, tall vase with large handles painted in Resene Laser and tall vase with ribbed bottom in Resene Stinger.  Accessories: Sofa from Freedom, chair from Nood.

Finding accessories and furniture that fit within your desired tonal colour scheme can be tricky. As a work around, create your own. These coffee tables have been made by securing two large bowls painted in Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Laser (on the left) and Resene Gin Fizz and Resene Golden Sand (on the right) with construction glue. The tabletop has been painted in Resene Chenin and given an artistic paint brush effect with Resene Stinger and then secured on the top of the bowl stands, again with construction glue.

If you’re struggling to decide what colours should be incorporated into your tonal scheme, a piece of art is a great way to guide you. Pick out the feature hues and complementary shades and then find the corresponding Resene paint colours. Alternatively, if you’ve decided on your colour scheme, but can’t quite find the right artwork to finish it off, get out the paint brushes and make your own. To replicate the one in this lounge, try Resene Smooth Cream, Resene Outpost, Resene Castlepoint, Resene Cafe Royale and Resene Double Tea.

Cream and pink are the perfect colours to add contrast into a yellow room but choose one or the other. Bring a bright pink in such as Resene Lipstick through cushions and vases for more of a fun, punchy look. For something more calming, a soft cream such as Resene Half Spanish White is your go-to.

Top tip: Yellows intensify more inside than any other colour. If in doubt choose a lighter option so you can enjoy your yellow without it being overpowering or use stronger yellows on a feature area and team with lighter colours to balance it out.

Project by Vanessa Nouwens. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.